It seems Rep. Noem has backed herself into quite the corner. Arriving in mailboxes across South Dakota this past weekend was a glossy, full-color mail piece, which wouldn’t normally raise too many eyebrows, except this one wasn’t from Kristi Noem for Congress – it was paid for by taxpayers, the very folks Rep. Noem promised wouldn’t be footing the bill for her glossy literature.
As Noem told numerous reporters in August 2010:
If she [Noem] is elected as South Dakota’s lone member of the U.S. House she would not take part in the common congressional practice of sending unsolicited mass mailings to South Dakotans at taxpayers’ expense. […]
“What I take objection to is sending out campaign-style, glossy mailings, mass mailings … that are obviously campaign pieces and not communication pieces,” Noem said.
Candidate Kristi Noem even published a press release on her website:
“Just because a clause in the House rules allows Members of Congress, including our own incumbent Congresswoman, to spend taxpayer money on campaign-style mail pieces in an election year doesn’t make it right. If we are going to get wasteful spending under control, we have to start somewhere.”
Now, 2011 may not be an “election year” but we’re pretty sure Noem is still running for congress in 2012. We’re also pretty sure that advertising your services and the benefits of winning Congressional office qualifies as “listing your accomplishments” – the definition of campaign-style mailings given to the Argus Leader today by Joshua Shields, Noem’s spokesperson.
We have no problem with communicating with constituents back home in South Dakota. In fact, we encourage it and commend Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin on a job well done. What we have a problem with is promising one thing as a candidate and then doing another as an elected official. We also have a problem with failing to understand the definition of ‘responsibility’ – but that’s for another blog. Perhaps it would be in South Dakota’s best interest for Noem to sign up for Herseth Sandlin’s next class.